Saturday, March 24, 2012

Soccer mom

As of today, I'm officially a "soccer mom."  Woo!
Kaden's first game EVER was today and he was so, so excited!

The kids practiced for 30 minutes, then the game was 30 minutes.  They stopped every 15 minutes for water breaks (it's sunny, so I was glad).  Kaden kicked the ball into the goal twice during the practice time and was so excited to play against the other team.  (Kaden's team name is the Fire Dragons, by the way.)


Kaden kept holding his shorts while he ran.  I'm going to have to work with him on that.
During the game, Kaden was around mid-field and kicked the ball.  It was nowhere near the goal and when he saw that he didn't kick it in the net, he literally had a meltdown mid-field.  He just started crying and crying and his coach tried talking to him, but ten minutes later (while the game went on around him), I told the coach to just put someone else in for him.  Kaden came off the field crying about how he never wants to play soccer again.  Although he enjoyed the treats after the game.  ;)

Ari was loving the sun!
After the game, the kids played on the playground for a while, then we headed to RC Willey for some free grub.

Seriously, is her belly not the cutest thing ever?!


Nom, nom, nom...
We perused RC Willey for a while, then headed to my dad's house and killed some time before heading to our friends' 30th birthday party!


Getting all set up

Cute Christy with the wheelchair for her old hubby

Trent on his way in


He said he had no idea.  :)

Old man!

It was so fun to see friends and get to play almost the entire day outside in the beautiful weather!

It was 7:00 before we left the park and we headed to Kohl's (even with tired kiddos - Shane can't resist 30% off there - haha).  We finally got home and the kids were begging to go to bed (they all fell asleep in the car).  That's my kind of day - play hard, sleep harder.  ;)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cali trip!!

As most of you know, I went to California this past weekend.  My friend, Lindsey, got tickets for the Ellen Show and, luckily for me, her hubby didn't want to go!  YAY! 

After getting a full three hours of sleep, I woke up at 2:00 AM (1:00 AM Cali time-that's important for later) and got ready to fly.  My awesome mom picked me up a little after 3:00 and took me to the airport.  Believe it or not, the airport isn't as dead as you would think at 4:00 AM.  I had a layover in Vegas which was just long enough for me to grab some overpriced hot chocolate before heading to Burbank.  Lindsey's flight got in about ten minutes after mine, which worked out fantastic.  (She lives in Arizona at the moment.)

We got the rental car and headed straight for the Warner Brothers Studios!

The WB water tower!  Shane saw this and said, "Hey, that's where the Animaniacs come out of!"  hahaha

I took this one to show my kids.  They loved it.  :)
 We were crazy early to the filming, so they told us to come back later.  We ran to Denny's for a second breakfast (it had been about ten hours since I'd eaten a bowl of cereal before leaving that morning), and then went to a grocery store for snacks and Coke to keep me awake.  We went back to the studio around noon and we were still too early.  (There are two tapings of Ellen on Thursdays and we had the later taping.)  We went to our hotel in Santa Monica (about 30 minutes away), but they wouldn't let us check in that early.  Basically, we drove around and waited all day long.  ;)

We headed back to the studio and there was lots of traffic, so we were glad we left when we did.  I think we got there around 2:30, which was perfect.

Me and Lindsey before the taping.
Linds was #14 - I was #15!
They didn't allow cameras AT ALL on the lot (for obvious reasons) and very thoroughly checked bags and purses.  The taping was incredible, though!  We got to see all of the behind the scenes people (Andy!!) and we waited in the Riff Raff room to be seated.  It was very surreal to be somewhere that I've seen on TV so much since 2003.  Since Linds and I were one of the first in the line, we got really good seats.  If you've seen Ellen, you know how she dances down an aisle in the center of the audience?  We were seated right behind that aisle - right in the center.  (So watch for us!!)

Since everyone has been asking, yes, we did get free stuff.  A vegan nutritionist was on to promote her new book, so we all got a copy of that (we were kind of expecting that one since that usually happens), but we also got a $100 gift card to JC Penney that no one expected and I think you'll be able to hear that when the audience starts freaking out after Ellen announces that.  I hope they got my face when she said it, because I'm sure it was hilarious.  I'm a great person to surprise as far as my reactions go.  ;)

The taping went until 7:00 and we headed to the hotel after.
Since you've never seen a hotel room before, here was ours:

For dinner, we decided to stay in.  We were going to order Pizza Hut, but when we asked the front desk guy if there was a Pizza Hut close, he was like, "Don't eat that!  Call Joe's on Broadway."  So we did.  It was SO good! I love talking to local people and finding those little dives that are better than any chain restaurant out there.

Nom, nom, nom.
Do you remember way back in June when we took the kids to Disneyland and I said that we stopped to visit my friend from forever ago, Rob?  And I was so mad that I'd forgotten to get a picture?  Well, Rob came to our hotel to hang out!  Yay!!  AND I remembered to get a picture or two!  Our hotel was about a half a block away from the Santa Monica pier, so Rob said he really wanted to go check it out.  (It was around 10:00 PM at this point.)  Lindsey said she was too tired, so it was just Rob and I. 

We went to Bubba Gump's Shimp Restaurant (inspired by the movie Forrest Gump) and had drinks at the bar.  Rob thinks it's hilarious that I completely trust him, so he walked us into a bar and ordered me a drink.  I didn't even bat an eye.  He was like, "You want to know what's in it?"  
Me, "Nope.  You'd never give me alcohol, Rob."

And it's the truth.  
Trust me, he had more than enough opportunities when I lived in Northern California after high school, but even had I wanted to try alcohol, I guarantee you he would have been there to knock the drink out of my hand.

Anyway, the drink was delicious and, of course, alcohol free.  It was a Shirley Temple (Sprite and cherry syrup).  Really, really good!  Rob had a few Coke and Jack's (i.e. alcohol), so I said we were going to walk to the beach so that he wasn't driving home drunk.  (And this is how I've always looked out for him.)  Rob hates to put his feet in the ocean cause it's "dirty," but he did it for me:

My buddy!  See the beautiful pier behind him?  It looked gorgeous all lit up at midnight.

I love this picture of him, but notsomuch me.  Ugh.
We walked some more and then sat in the empty hotel lobby and talked until 2:00 AM, when he felt sober enough to head home.  It was SO fun to see him!  I've known him for so, so long.  We don't have any secrets, him and I.  It's great.  And, yes, Shane knew we were meeting up.  And, yes, he was fine with it.  ;)

For those of you keeping track, I was up for 25 straight hours.  The funny thing was, I slept until 7:00 and woke up before Lindsey.  haha  I read a book in bed until she woke up and said, "What are you doing awake???"  

Thanks to another local, we found another great not-so-well known place for breakfast.  I think it's called Cafe Crepe.  I'd never had a crepe before, but it was really, really good.  All of the food there was incredibly delicious.  This was my favorite meal while we were there.


Linds loves these pictures of her eating....  ;)
This was right next to the crepe place.

I had to borrow Lindsey's jacket since mine was in the car (it was valet parking and I didn't want them to have to get the car just to take it right back).

Kaden and Lexi loved this picture.  :)

Another one close to the first.  The guy who took this picture proposed to us.  I'm not even kidding.  We left as quickly as possible after.  haha

The view of the beach and pier from our hotel.
 We sat around and girl-talked all morning, which was so nice.  No kids, no hubbys, just us girls.  ;)

A paper told us that Venice Beach was only 1.5 miles away.  I'd seen it in lots of movies, so I really wanted to go there.  We decided to walk there since it was a nice day.  I thought it'd be a nice 20 minute walk.  BUT Lindsey's GPS on her phone said that Venice beach was 2.5 miles away.  We asked the guy at the front desk and he was like, "Oh, yeah, you can walk.  It'll take you maybe 25 minutes."  LIAR!

So, we set off walking to Venice beach.

Under the pier.  It looked like a ship.

Along the way, we saw people doing a photo shoot.  The hot, shirtless guy was doing gymnastics stuff on those rings.  It was awesome to watch (for more than one reason).  ;)

Can you see Lindsey at the base of the palm trees?

These fences were all along our way.  I loved the look of them so I forced Linds to pose for me.

Beautiful butterfly shells that were ALL over the place!
 We walked for a couple of hours (total), but the view wasn't so bad:

I would be more than happy living here.  :)

Hundreds of the butterfly shells.

We tried to time the picture with the waves crashing against the rocks.  My camera isn't all that awesome, though, so this the the best I got.
When we finally reached Venice beach, it was nothing like I'd pictured (from all the movies).

I guess you can't really tell from these pictures, but it was dirty.  In every way possible.  Lindsey and I both had a tight hold on our purses and both commented that we didn't feel remotely safe there.  I would NEVER take my children there and probably would never go out of my way to go back again.  It was literally the pothead capital of the world.  The only saving grace was that we did get to see one street performer.

The performer is the black guy on the left.  He pulled all those other random guys from the crowd.  It was pretty funny.
After doing a dance with those guys and that adorable little girl, things got serious:

He was really funny, but not the most amazing dancer I've ever seen.  He told people to take their video cameras out and that if and when we put the videos on Youtube, "Get my name right.  It's MR. ANIMATION!!  Don't just say you saw some black guy dancing on the beach.  MR. ANIMATION!"  hahahaha

Shortly after his shirt came off, we decided to head back to Santa Monica.  Another long walk back and it was dinner time!  We ate at a Mexican restaurant at the very end of the pier.

Our view from our seats.

We were right by the fire!  Say cheese!

How beautiful is this place?!
While we were eating outside, the seagulls literally flew onto our table and nothing we did would make them leave.  They walked right up to our chip basket and starting eating straight out of it.  WHAT THE?!?!  The waiter came out with a spray bottle full of water to scare them off, but by then we'd had enough and asked to be moved inside.  Stupid birds.

After a really good dinner, we grabbed some frozen yogurt (and souvenirs for the kids and hubby) and headed back to the hotel.  We got our friends at the front desk to use their microwave to pop our popcorn and we had a movie night.  :)

We headed for the airport bright and early Saturday morning.  It was POURING rain, but luckily it didn't delay our flights at all.

Just a quick shot of our rental car.  She was a beauty.
After the most turbulent ride on an airplane I've ever experienced, I landed in Vegas for what turned into a three hour layover thanks to the weather.  Lindsey had a different flight from me, so I just walked around and texted the whole world.

When I got back to Salt Lake (another bumpy ride thanks to the strong winds in SLC), Shane and the kiddos picked me up and we headed for the Aquarium!

This is what happens when Dad dresses the kids.

The otters were play fighting and Kaden was very worried that they were hurting each other.

With the jellyfish!

Kaden said, "Mom, I'm SO TALL!!"

It was an incredibly fun few days!!
Thanks, Linds, for letting me come with you!
Everyone watch for us on Ellen on Monday!  :D

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